Shades of Black

It doesn’t get more classic than black. Aside from offering endless versatility and eternal appeal, black paint colors make a bold and dramatic statement, adding instant sophistication to a space. The allure of this chic hue is no surprise. But, like white, black is nowhere near as simple as it seems. Because shades of black paint are rarely ever truly black (just as white is rarely ever truly white), finding the perfect one for your space can be a challenge. 

Featured Colors (Clockwise from the top): Black Fox SW 7020, Inkwell SW 6992, Tricorn Black SW 6258

Undertones of Our Favorite Blacks

True black – or the blackest black – is theoretically the total absence of light, and where there’s no light, there can be no color. When it comes to black paint colors, however, we’re talking about variations of true black – a range of shades colored by warm or cool undertones. While the undertones in dark shades can be subtle and generally more forgiving than lighter neutrals and mid-tones, the wrong shade can throw the color harmony in your space off-balance. Since we already dove into the nitty-gritty of undertones in paint colors, we’re looking here at those in some of our favorite blacks to help you find the perfect one for your project. On the fence about going dark? We have some tips to help ease your mind about embracing bold color. 

Featured Colors: Black Magic SW 6991, Bohemian Black SW 6988, Black Fox SW 7020

Our Favorite Warm Black Paint Colors

Black paint colors at the warm end of the spectrum have undertones that lean red/warm-purple or brown. The warmth in these dark shades can be more or less pronounced depending upon lighting. Pair these with warmer tones and light neutrals for contrast and be sure to test them in your space to ensure balance and harmony.  

Black Magic SW 6991: A refined and sophisticated dark black with a slight bit of a grounding, warm brown undertone. 

Bohemian Black SW 6988: This shade’s purplish-red undertones lean slightly more red, giving this captivating dark shade a sense of depth. 

Black Fox SW 7020: The warm greige undertone lends a rich earthiness to this stunning hue that feels much warmer than most blacks. 

Featured Colors: Inkwell SW 6992, Black of Night SW 6993, Greenblack SW 6994

Our Favorite Cool Black Paint Colors

On the cooler end of the spectrum, we find shades of black with blue and green undertones. Though these tones are every bit as dark as you’d expect from a black, their underlying cool note lends them a subtle serene vibe. Just like with warm blacks, lighting can have a drastic impact on the appearance of the blue or green undertone. Pair with cool tones and don’t forget to test them in your space with color samples. 

Inkwell SW 6992: Luxurious, moody and mysterious with a soft hint of a gray blue undertone. 

Black of Night SW 6993: Subtle green-gray undertones lend this captivating hue a dusty charcoal appearance. 

Greenblack SW 6994: This chameleon color can appear black, or, in certain light, its green undertones are more perceptible, and it reads as a deep shade of green. 

Featured Colors: Tricorn Black SW 6258 

Our All-Time Favorite Neutral Black 

Undertones in neutral blacks are either barely or not at all perceptible, making them truly versatile shades that can pair with any color and any style. They get you as close to true black as you can go with a paint color. Our ever-popular neutral black also happens to be our darkest shade of black and one of the truest blacks available: Tricorn Black. It has almost no appearance of undertones at all. This is the tried-and-true, jack-of-all trades, go-to hue that can do anything and looks amazing anywhere. 

Dare to go bold with black? Like any other color, these hues can look drastically different in your space, so be sure to start with samples. Find your perfect shade with FREE color chips! Need help choosing? Book a FREE Virtual Color Consultation for personalized, one-on-one guidance with one of our experts. 


  1. Domino another great black!

  2. I have never selected the color black for home painting. Having said this, my eldest child wanted to use black tints in his bedroom. I helped him to paint his room and a small part of me liked the outcome but it did not grab me. Once he moved on, I did discover the challenge in trying to paint over the dark colors with much lighter colors. So, I probably will not be selecting any tint of black in the future.

  3. I like inkwell.

    Jamie Diane Richardson

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